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Telehealth Faculty Mentors

New to telehealth care education or preceptorship? These faculty and staff have experience creating and delivering telehealth care and related curricular content/experiences. They are available on a volunteer basis to answer questions about telehealth education best practices, provide resources on telehealth curricular design, and partner in the creation of new telehealth educational programs, including clinical training. You can reach out to specific individuals using their contact information below or use the Telehealth Inquiries link.

Telehealth Education Inquiries

Submit Inquiries

  • Ask a question
  • Inquire about a consultation
  • Request a resource

Interested in joining this telehealth resource pool: Send an email to clinicalaffairs@umn.edu or use the Telehealth Inquiries link.

Telehealth competencies

Sara North, PT, DPT, M.Ed
Director of Educational Innovation and Evaluation

Sara North serves as the Director of Educational Innovation and Evaluation for the Div. of Physical Therapy. Contributions include development of scaffolded telehealth curriculum for physical therapist learners, including profession-specific telehealth lecture, skills training through faculty-led telehealth demonstration and Zoom small group telehealth peer simulation, and reflection on telehealth in practice and perceived readiness to engage.

Full bio

Carolyn M. Porta, PhD, MPH, RN SANE-A, FAAN
Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs

Carolyn Porta is a professor in nursing and forensic nurse clinician. In her clinical practice, Dr. Porta uses telepractice to connect her patients to advocacy services not currently offered face-to-face. In Spring 2020 when faculty and students pivoted to participate in clinical telehealth learning experiences, Dr. Porta convened an interprofessional telehealth education workgroup to exchange curricular resources and collectively identify and solve challenges. The workgroup addressed gaps in telehealth-specific curricular content and aligned educational resources with requisite cognitive, affective, and psychomotor competencies for health sciences students.

Full bio

Telehealth simulation

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, APRN, FNP, PNP
Clinical Professor

Dr. Mary Benbenek is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the School of Nursing. She maintains a faculty practice and precepts students in primary care in a community health setting. Dr. Benbenek collaborated with colleagues in the School of Nursing and College of Medicine to mentor students in telehealth during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She continues to engage in telehealth encounters in her current clinical practice and has worked closely with the simulation team to adapt and create telehealth learning activities for FNP students including interdisciplinary and interprofessional experiences.

Full bio

Cynthia Bradley, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE
Assistant Professor

Cynthia Bradley serves as the Director of Simulation for the School of Nursing. She has extensive experience in simulation pedagogy, which includes online simulation and telehealth simulation. One focus of her research is in debriefing after simulation both in person and via videoconferencing. Dr. Bradley’s work in simulation and debriefing extends across clinical and didactic curricula. She has served as a consultant for nursing programs to integrate simulation and debriefing across courses at all program levels.

Full bio

Lou Clark, PhD, MFA
Executive Director

Lou Clark, PhD, MFA is the Executive Director of M Simulation with the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs and an Associate Professor with the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota. As Executive Director, Dr. Clark provides leadership in the overall strategy and operations to advance and support health professions simulation at UMN. She has overseen the design and implementation of multiple learning events with simulated telehealth components in her previous role as Deputy Director of Clinical Simulation for Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences for, and also since coming to UMN - specifically in the pivot to human simulation online with simulated patients in the COVID-19 response.

Full bio

Cheri L. Friedrich, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, IBCLC
Clinical Professor

Dr. Friedrich is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)/Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS) specialties. She maintains a practice and precepts students in a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves un- and under-insured children and their families in Anoka County. As part of her clinical practice Dr. Friedrich has recently been engaging in telehealth practice for the families she serves.

Full bio

Anne Woll

Anne Woll is the Interim Education Director for M Simulation at the University of Minnesota. She has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has over 17 years of experience in developing, implementing, and assessing simulation for teaching and assessment, including human simulation online and telehealth training. She works closely with faculty and clinicians across the health sciences to integrate appropriate simulation modalities, including standardized patients, high-tech mannequins, and task trainers to create effective educational experiences.

Full bio

Telehealth practice

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, APRN, FNP, PNP
Clinical Professor

Dr. Mary Benbenek is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the School of Nursing. She maintains a faculty practice and precepts students in primary care in a community health setting. Dr. Benbenek collaborated with colleagues in the School of Nursing and College of Medicine to mentor students in telehealth during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She continues to engage in telehealth encounters in her current clinical practice and has worked closely with the simulation team to adapt and create telehealth learning activities for FNP students including interdisciplinary and interprofessional experiences.

Full bio

Christina Cipolle, PharmD

Christina Cipolle provided leadership and hands-on support to care teams at the Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC) during the rapid implementation of telehealth appointments. The CUHCC team navigated many technical and workflow challenges to connect with our patients and families, many of whom prefer services in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese, and ensuring all service lines are supported.

Full bio

Cheri L. Friedrich, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, IBCLC
Clinical Professor

Dr. Friedrich is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)/Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS) specialties. She maintains a practice and precepts students in a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves un- and under-insured children and their families in Anoka County. As part of her clinical practice Dr. Friedrich has recently been engaging in telehealth practice for the families she serves.

Full bio

Rebecca Lulai, MA, CCC-SLP
Director of Clinical Programs in Speech-Language Pathology

Rebecca Lulai is the Director of Clinical Programs in Speech-Language Pathology for the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. As part of her role she is engaged in work with clinical simulations, supervision, and management of services provided in the Julia M. Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center (JMDSLHC). Rebecca developed and then implemented the speech-language pathology telepractice line of service for the JMDSLHC for many years. Rebecca was also one of first three Speech-Language Pathologists to provide services through telepractice in Minnesota beginning in 2005. She has extensive experience with student mentorship and clinical supervision in a variety of clinical and educational settings.

Full bio

Jacquelyn M. Ruen, PT, DPT, OCS
Assistant Professor

Jacquelyn Ruen, PT, DPT, OCS is an assistant professor in the Division of Physical Therapy in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. She has served as a traditional clinical instructor in the past and in response to the covid-19 pandemic has been acting as a clinical instructor for students through the division’s pro-bono telehealth clinic and by bringing students who are at home into her in person clinical practice.

Full bio

Justin L. Staker, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor

Justin Staker is an assistant professor in the Divisions of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he recently led the development of a pro-bono Telehealth PT educational clinic service for UMN Division of Physical Therapy students. He has extensive previous experience as a clinical instructor in traditional settings and now online after serving as a clinical instructor for UMN physical therapy students.

Full bio

Joshua Thompson, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor

Joshua Thompson is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Family Medicine and Community Health and the M Health Fairview Telehealth Education Lead. With colleagues in the medical school, doctor of nursing practice program, and M Health Fairview, he helped create and lead a clinical telehealth elective for medical students, DNP students, and residents during the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full bio

Telehealth preceptorship

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, APRN, FNP, PNP
Clinical Professor

Dr. Mary Benbenek is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the School of Nursing. She maintains a faculty practice and precepts students in primary care in a community health setting. Dr. Benbenek collaborated with colleagues in the School of Nursing and College of Medicine to mentor students in telehealth during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She continues to engage in telehealth encounters in her current clinical practice and has worked closely with the simulation team to adapt and create telehealth learning activities for FNP students including interdisciplinary and interprofessional experiences.

Full bio

Christina Cipolle, PharmD

Christina Cipolle provided leadership and hands-on support to care teams at the Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC) during the rapid implementation of telehealth appointments. The CUHCC team navigated many technical and workflow challenges to connect with our patients and families, many of whom prefer services in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese, and ensuring all service lines are supported.

Full bio

Cheri L. Friedrich, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, IBCLC
Clinical Professor

Dr. Friedrich is a clinical professor and coordinator of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)/Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS) specialties. She maintains a practice and precepts students in a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves un- and under-insured children and their families in Anoka County. As part of her clinical practice Dr. Friedrich has recently been engaging in telehealth practice for the families she serves.

Full bio

Rebecca Lulai, MA, CCC-SLP
Director of Clinical Programs in Speech-Language Pathology

Rebecca Lulai is the Director of Clinical Programs in Speech-Language Pathology for the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. As part of her role she is engaged in work with clinical simulations, supervision, and management of services provided in the Julia M. Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center (JMDSLHC). Rebecca developed and then implemented the speech-language pathology telepractice line of service for the JMDSLHC for many years. Rebecca was also one of first three Speech-Language Pathologists to provide services through telepractice in Minnesota beginning in 2005. She has extensive experience with student mentorship and clinical supervision in a variety of clinical and educational settings.

Full bio

Justin L. Staker, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor

Justin Staker is an assistant professor in the Divisions of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he recently led the development of a pro-bono Telehealth PT educational clinic service for UMN Division of Physical Therapy students. He has extensive previous experience as a clinical instructor in traditional settings and now online after serving as a clinical instructor for UMN physical therapy students.

Full bio

Joshua Thompson, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor

Joshua Thompson is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Family Medicine and Community Health and the M Health Fairview Telehealth Education Lead. With colleagues in the medical school, doctor of nursing practice program, and M Health Fairview, he helped create and lead a clinical telehealth elective for medical students, DNP students, and residents during the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full bio

Great Plains Telehealth Resource Center

Zoi Hills
Project Manager

Zoi has been involved with telemedicine since 2002. Currently, she is the Program Manager for the Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center (gpTRAC), one of the regional telehealth telehealth resource centers which is part of the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, within the Institute for Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota.

Full bio

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